Inslee proclamation prevents young adults from aging-out of foster care

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the media from home Monday, December 21. (TVW)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — With the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the nation, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation today to protect young adults in foster care.

A news release from the Governor’s office claims that Inslee’s Proclamation 21-02 will protect individuals benefitting from extended foster care services from “aging-out” of foster care at 21-years-old. With the difficulties imposed by the pandemic, Gov Inslee hopes to protect those who rely on these services for basic needs.

This comes after Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which prohibited states from enforcing “aging-out” rules during the pandemic. Congress’ act extends the same protections to individuals benefitting from foster care services nationwide.

Gov. Inslee’s proclamation went into effect immediately, meaning it’s being enforced as of now. However, the proclamation will require legislative approval in the event that it needs to be extended.

The proclamation comes shortly after reports that Washington state relocated hundreds of foster care children. Reporting published by The Associated Press says that children and teenagers were relocated to hotels and state offices for short stints.

In response, a lawsuit was filed by Disability Rights Washington, the National Center for Youth Law and the Seattle law firm Carney Gillespie against the Department of Children, Youth and Families.

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